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Do you just "bum around town" as a retired person?
Old 09-02-2016, 04:03 AM   #1
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Do you just "bum around town" as a retired person?

Back when I was working full time I rarely had time for anything that was not practical. My life pretty much revolved around my specific neighborhood and the area around my office. I live in the Alexandria area of Fairfax County VA and that was my home base for pretty much everything.

It would be years between my trips to Washington DC and I could not remember the last time I went into Maryland, which was 10 miles from my home.

Now that I am retired, I have unlimited time on my hands. I have become interested in what the communities within 100 miles of my home look like. See a State Park on a map- I go there. Read about Annapolis MD- I go there. See Harpers Ferry mentioned online- I go there. Basically I drive places to bum around, all by myself- JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE!

My younger hard working friends think this is crazy. They ask: "Why would you go there just because you saw it on a map just to bum around? Are you crazy?"
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:29 AM   #2
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I do the same thing. Sometimes solo, sometimes with DW. Almost always a road trip where I don't take the GPS recommended route.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:36 AM   #3
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We do, too. We almost drove to Florida this morning (1000 miles), but we weren't THAT crazy. We have the crazy reputation firmly established by our friends and family. It doesn't influence at all. Some people like to stay put, but not us.
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Old 09-02-2016, 06:55 AM   #4
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I haven't done much of that but plan to in the future. Why not spend the day in a nearby town? Not much planning involved and it's good for the brain just to see something different.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:34 AM   #5
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It makes me sad to think of all the local culture I'm not enjoying. That's part of the reason I moved out to a higher COL area. I will start to fix that as soon as I'm semi-ERed.
To think that there are folks who are so provincial and enamored with their toil as to consider small adventures crazy. . . Well, that just makes me very blue indeed.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:20 AM   #6
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- Have driven back roads in WV where we figured, from the faces of people standing out front of their houses as we passed by, that only residents or the UPS truck utilized.

- Stopped for lunch in a rural roadside diner near Bath, NC, where we couldn't understand a word anyone was saying and had to point at the dishes we wanted.

- My late wife & I stayed three days in a small Saskatchewan town while waiting for the arrival of the rodeo, (people came in from cities and neighboring provinces to see the actual show)....they had a pancake breakfast & 'activities' the first morning and we were the only people who attended who didn't actually live in the town.

And so on and so on and so on.......there's so much to see everywhere, and just about everyone likes to chat for a while with people from 'someplace else'........so to quote Robert B. Parker's Spenser "We'd be fools not to (do it)".

(Which is also why, when overseas, we try and avoid/minimize exposure to the 'tourist zones' and go to the places people actually live.)
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:24 AM   #7
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Why not?

We'd do more of it but with two dogs we're sort of limited in the spur of the moment day trips unless we ask the neighbors to come let them out for a break!
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:25 AM   #8
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This is on my radar screen. DH probably won't last the year- he's got AML and the treatment isn't working; more aggressive therapies are out of the question because he's 78. We've accepted it but what keeps me going is plans for the future. I'm 63, healthy and can drive long distances with no problem. I get the AAA magazine and last week I found myself thinking, "Why not?" I have friends, acquaintances and family in a lot of places, so could work that in, too.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:39 AM   #9
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athena53 it's great that you think about this, and try to look for something enjoyable in the future, indeed "why not"?....the first trip might be hard and sad but may you have many enjoyable times to come.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:39 AM   #10
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Ive done this all my life but as a retiree my available time exceeds my budget for gas and whatnot. I had a company car for 15 yrs and liberal gas allowance so I got to drive by a lot of places with no time to stop and enjoy. I always took the long way home. In our are (Wash DC) you could never see and do all the things available if you have any interests at all and many many things are cheap/free.

Two weeks ago I went strolling through Old Town with my daughter (who just moved to Alexandria, btw) and toured the Torpedo Factory. I've lived in the DC area most of my life and never actually walked around Old Town.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:09 AM   #11
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When you are single and you don't know one other person who is free during the day, sightseeing isn't much fun. The whole point of it is to experience something great and turn to your friend to talk about it.

It works better to find activities where you are doing something with others. My favorite one this summer was a free "Learn to Fish" activity soonsored by the parks department. Another good one was a Scrabble Meetup where people gather at a cafe to play Scrabble. They work b/c I am geniunely interested in these two things anyway.

Also, when I was working I always felt extremely rushed doing errands and was always thinking about the next thing on the list. It is a good idea to remind yourself that you don't have to rush now and allow time to have a conversation with the grocery checker or the mailman. These little contacts can be uplifting.

I'm not suggesting that you build you new life around trivial activities. The solution for both of us will probably be finding a new meaningful lifework and some friends with similar interests. But it's a start.
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Do you just "bum around town" as a retired person?
Old 09-02-2016, 09:42 AM   #12
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Do you just "bum around town" as a retired person?

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Originally Posted by misshathaway View Post
When you are single and you don't know one other person who is free during the day, sightseeing isn't much fun. The whole point of it is to experience something great and turn to your friend to talk about it.

It works better to find activities where you are doing something with others.

Yeah, I've already thought about that angle. It's definitely going to be weird not having DH next to me. I'm hoping that combining my road trips with visits to family and friends will ease that a little.

And thanks for the MeetUp reminder; I already found a good French discussion group that way and really enjoy that gathering. I'm sure there would be more groups I'd like; I'm interested in a lot of things.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:45 AM   #13
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I used to travel to DC often for my job. Rather than travel home on Saturday morning, I would schedule a late flight back and spend the day antiquing, often in the small antique towns in Virginia and Maryland. Places like Frederick, New Market, Leesburg, Middleburg with cute little downtowns and nice restaurants. If I lived in the OP's area, I could easily see myself exploring all the small historic towns. Once I unexpectedly found myself at a dead end at White's Ferry and crossed the Potomac on the ferry. There are also lots of cute towns farther out but unfortunately I did not have time to see them in the few hours available.
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Old 09-02-2016, 09:46 AM   #14
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I'm pretty lucky in that Iv live in the Northeast so it's pretty easy to find hidden treasure that are inexpensive and close to home. I've done this all my life

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Old 09-02-2016, 09:57 AM   #15
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This sounds like a lot of fun to me, and if you can incorporate a lot of walking with your sightseeing it will help you to become more physically fit, which will make you feel even better.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:00 AM   #16
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That's what I plan to do, eventually...
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:47 AM   #17
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I have become interested in what the communities within 100 miles of my home look like. See a State Park on a map- I go there. Read about Annapolis MD- I go there. See Harpers Ferry mentioned online- I go there. Basically I drive places to bum around, all by myself- JUST BECAUSE THEY ARE THERE!

My younger hard working friends think this is crazy. They ask: "Why would you go there just because you saw it on a map just to bum around? Are you crazy?"
To me they sound like jerks. I mean really, who do they think they are, to judge your life and what you choose to do with your free time?


When we retire, we no longer have a supervisor telling us how to spend every minute of every day.

Now that you are retired, YOU are your own boss. You can decide how you want to spend your time. YOU are in charge. That's your job, now. It's nobody else's business.

A few people have a hard time dealing with that much freedom. I feel sorry for them and wonder it it's some sort of Stockholm syndrome (but don't wonder enough to actually think about it very long). Many of the rest of us feel like we were just let out of jail, and the freedom is just so delicious.



As for F and me, I suppose we sometimes bum around when we have the time. Usually we have so much else going on that we'd rather do so we are off having fun as planned. Our lives are full, and fulfilling, and everything we always wanted. But I see absolutely nothing wrong with bumming around if that is what you want to do and it is fun! Have at it. This might be your way of shedding work stress now that you are retired and if so, then it is extremely constructive and useful.
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:02 AM   #18
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I've been doing the "bumming" thing for years now, combining my love of food with my love of motorcycles.

I google up food types in a town I've never been, narrow down by yelping some and ride out on the bike, have lunch and ride back. Try to use the country roads as much as possible and not the freeway.

Seen a lot of cool new places and stuff and ate a lot of good food -

A bonus are the roadside fruit stands you find from time to time that have amazing stuff you don't see in the supermarkets and grown "over yonder back of the ranch house"
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:13 AM   #19
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Today I am showing my buddy my hidden trail that starts on the 6th floor of our 19 story building and heads through the woods to the top of Sentinal Hill. The trail goes beside houses but they are seldom visible from the trail.

Then we walk down the Capilano River (Pacific Spirit Trail) where we will encounter other hikers. Finally we end up in the village at The Tap House for brunch.

The trail
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:16 AM   #20
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They even named the road after you, wow, impressed!
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